Chandler City Manager Mark Pentz requested his impending performance review be open to the public — a decision that sent the City Council into almost a three-hour review Monday on how to hold that meeting.
“I had no idea you would be this reluctant or this fearful to deal with my evaluation at a public forum,” Pentz said as ideas ranged from an afternoon meeting today to an 8 p.m. meeting Friday, both in untelevised conference rooms.
In a 4-3 vote, the council in the end elected to review Pentz in council chambers in a meeting open to the public Monday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. and ending when the regular 7 p.m. meeting begins. It was undecided if the meeting would be televised.
Several members of the public in attendance criticized the council for trying to rush the review, they said, in order to fire Pentz as quietly as possible.
“There is obviously an agenda, and an agenda being pushed by (Councilman Martin Sepulveda), supported by (Councilman Matt Orlando) and by two lame duck council members,” resident Les Bartlett told the council.
Council candidate Jeff Weninger said the manager and other employees have been treated with a “total lack of respect.”
But City Council members who have been critical of the two-year city manager said they may not be specifically considering “firing” Pentz, but simply want the review, past due from January, completed before things “spiral out of control.”
“I believe this is turning into a three-ring circus,” said Sepulveda, who has also asked for a vote on the manager’s contract, which is not due for renewal.
At least six residents came to Monday’s meeting to support Pentz, who hired attorney Rick Cohen, of Lewis and Roca, to represent him.
Pentz’s review by the council was released Monday, as part of his request. Four of the reviews were below average, while three were above average.
Some traits such as communicating to council were listed as strengths and weaknesses in the anonymous reviews. While one stated Pentz “does not patronize the council,” another blamed him for “yelling” at council members and accusing one of “being political.”
Staff evaluations of Pentz listed higher overall results, with most responses saying the manager was “exceeding expectations,” and none being below “satisfactory.”